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The History and Cultural Impact

of Street Performing

by Stephen Baird © Stephen Baird 2000-2021

The following little historical references are just a glimpse of the depth and breadth of the creative spirit of the human race that blossoms on the street corners, market places, subway platforms and any other place people gather.

Newsletter   Berlin lacht! e.V. February 2009

We want to inform you about our activities and possibilities to participate in our upcoming festivities. As well, we would like to explain a little bit about the situations of street theatre in Germany.  We hope that this will make you understand the importance of coming to Berlin in order to support and participate in the street theatre opportunities at the Berlin lacht! International street theatre festival, even if the conditions might be less attractive compared to other festivals.
About Street theatre in Germany and Berlin

Main Goals

About the Festival

First of all we want to give a big thanks to everyone who helped us in the last years. The Berlin lacht! Festival is organized by us, a non-profit association, where a group of people work for the passion and the believe in the support of street-art and street theatre. In the last years we have gotten a great audience, have won many fans, and the press has given
even more attention. Last year we started a campaign to convince the Berlin government to give us financial support. We tried through the festival to open up their minds, and to demand that street arts culture has a value for existence and a need to be developed. Street theatre has the right and the power to bring people together free and visibly for everyone.
Still, we are in the same dilemma…  no financial support what-so-ever!

So, here we still are… a low budget and non-commercial festival. But we keep on the fight!
We can only realize the festival with the cooperation of the artists. We hope to welcome you in June, and/or July 2009. We need all the power of the artists to show the city once more that they have to recognize our art and culture and to support and promote street theatre.

This year we celebrate the 6th International street theatre festival Berlin lacht! On our main base
Mariannenplatz from the 12th to the 14th of June 2009.
And again, as last year, we will continue...! We will take on, through peaceful assault, the main places in Berlin.
We are enthusiastically looking ahead to be present for 2 weekends in a row starting on the 9th of
July, 2009. (More details under Timetable)
Last year, this took Berlin into a revolutionary step forward to the acceptance of street theatre!
The aim is:

Festival Conditions -- Low Budget - please don’t forget!

This year would like to welcome any persons whom may be travelling through Berlin at the time
of the festival, to give us a helping hand. What we look for are people who preferably have already
a bit of experience in theatre and/or festivals. Stage managing, stage tech. know-how and many other aspects having to do with festival preparation which are always of need in order to smooth out the ridged edges.
We have no gage for this, but it’s a great way to be in an internationally artistic environment, and contact making for other festivals and artists from all over the globe. Furthermore, to homer your skills in theatrics and festivals.
The same basics can be provided as written above for the artists.
Please contact for more info!
Festival Dates
6th Anniversary in our home district, and our base where everything began. Lovely atmosphere and
great audience. It is almost a kind of “social work” to play there, but every artist loves to perform for the
wild audience of Kreuzberg.
12.-14. June 2009 Mariannenplatz
Berlin, Kreuzberg
>>>download application
2nd time at Alexanderplatz
Alexanderplatz has become the most common place for street theatre. Since the festivals premiere their last year, it has become Berlins official “pitch”.
09. - 12. July 2009 Alexanderplatz
Berlin, Mitte
>>>download application
2nd time at Kürfürstendamm
At the famous Kaiser-Wilhelm-GedächtnisKirche, “Kaiser William Memorial Church is located in Berlin on the Kurfürstendamm in the centre of the Breitscheidplatz. The original church on the site was built in the 1890s. It was badly damaged in a bombing raid in 1943. The present building, which consists of a church with an attached foyer and a separate belfry with an attached chapel, was built between 1959 and 1963. The damaged spire of the old church has been retained and its ground floor has been made into a memorial hall.” This is one of Berlins Biggest Tourist attractions. More than 20000 People pass by every day, and it was the centre of Berlin before the wall came down.
16.-19. July 2009 Kurfürstendamm
Berlin, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf
>>>download application
(http://zirkusamalgam.de/download/ application-09-kudamm.doc
Please fill out the application forms suitable for the dates you want to participate in the festival and send it back to us by the 1st of April 2009 the latest. If you haven’t send
promotion material yet, please do so.
Other festivities
2nd international festival “Trans Yapit” culture weeks of Free Art in open Spaces
Berlin lacht! goes Istanbul…
Last year we helped to organize an Open Arts festival for three weeks within a small gypsy area in the Asiatic part of Istanbul. We succeeded in bringing local and international artists together to develop a programme filled with workshops and performances.
Please check the website for more information! www.trans-yapit.eu
25. September-18.October 2009
Kadiköy, Istanbul
>>>download application
2nd time Culture Christmas market at Marheinekeplatz, Kreuzberg
This past Christmas, Berlin lacht! spread itself out again and we beat the cold with
bringing street art and theatre into the streets to warm up the hearts of the people.
This varied cultural offering in the icy outdoors met the Berlin public with surprise and fulfilled laughter.
27.November-23. December 2009 Marheinekeplatz
Berlin, Kreuzberg
>>>download application
If you know of any other artists, performers and/or other individuals whom may be interested in
participating and/or helping our organization, please do not hesitate to forward this letter to them.
If you don’t want to receive any more Newsletters please send it back to the following address.
all our spirit and kind regards
Berlin lacht! e.V.
Noa N., Thomas Plattner
· Berlin lacht! e.V.
· Revaler Str. 99
· Tor 2 , Halle 25
. 10245 Berlin
. Tel.: +49 30 69204228-1
. Fax. : +49 30 69204228- 9 
· Mobil  +49 163 8295722
· booking@berlin-lacht.de
· http://www.berlin-lacht.de
. Steuernummer: 27/661/52567
 Vereinsregisternr: 24465 NZ
 Amtsgericht Charlottenburg

Berlin lacht! Association for the promotion of Street art and – culture, presents the “Tour de Berlin” Street theatre…on three weekends - one after the other!…at 3 locations!

 Berlin Lacht! The International Street Theatre Festival is making a tour this year. The goal of this action is to establish street art for the citizens of Berlin on a long-term basis. These festivals are only one starting point. The following places specified are suited due to their situation and their pedestrian frequentation, also without the Festival.
          22.- 24. August 2008 at Alexanderplatz
          29.- 31. August 2008 at Breitscheidplatz/ Ku-Damm
          05.- 07. September 2008 at Falckplatz, Mauerpark
Circus Demo - On 22.08.20008, the 2nd “Tour de Berlin” Circus demo, in form of a procession will take place. This procession will begin at Alexanderplatz and proceed onto the Red Town Hall. Their, there will be a demonstration in order to bring attention in regards of the political-   cultural situation of circus and street theatre in Germany.
Then it will proceed back again to Alexanderplatz where a closing speech will follow and the grand Opening of the festival! ,Meeting point is on 22.8.08 at 15:00 at Alexanderplatz (World-time-hour)
Further information is in the appendix… Also, we are still looking for motivated helpers for during the weekends. Potential hard-striders, fighters and enthusiasts please respond and send a message to info@berlin-lacht.de

Berlin lacht!

Numbers and Facts

Germany 1990

April 24, 1990 article by Henry Kamm appeared in the International Herald Tribune details the legal battle for the right to perform in the "New" Germany and how it propelled Kurt Masur into a national political figure. A later article noted the first new law for the unified Berlin was a law to allow street performances. The right to sing on the street personified the very concept of "freedom" for those whe emerged from the Iron Curtain.

Click for a PDF version of the article here

Street Arts and Buskers Advocates